Here, at TheTips.com, we want to help you to find out everything you need to know about legally betting in the state of Delaware – and what types of Delaware sports betting is actually permitted.
Delaware was actually the first state to offer legal sports betting after the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was struck down in May 2018.
The Delaware state Governor, John Carney, was the person to make the first sports wager in the state in June 2018, at Delaware Park. Now, the state has three ‘racinos’ which are all allowed to provide a legal sports betting service. Along with three other states – Nevada, Montana and Oregon, Delaware already put sports betting laws on its books.
Delaware Sports Betting – Legal Information
Delaware sports betting, in some way, shape or form, has long been available. For instance, it has offered pro-football parlay betting for years. As such, it was quick out of the blocks to become the first state to allow legal sports betting post-PASPA.
As stated by the director of the Delaware state lottery, Vernon Kirk, this was a state that was already well prepared to offer sports betting – it had been ready to go back in 2009 before the decision was blocked by the courts. So, when PASPA was shut down, they simply needed to re-train employees and dust down their technology – and get sports betting going in Delaware.
Delaware State Sports Lottery
The Delaware states sports lottery was first introduced in 1976 but was a bit of a flop. After several years of hibernation, it was brought back to line under then-Governor, Jack Markell in 2009. This sports lottery allows bettors to create parlays of up to three NFL games, with teasers.
June 5th, at Dover Downs, was when the Delaware Governor, John Carney, was able to legally place Delaware’s first single-game wager – and for the rest of that first month, the state revenue from sports betting was well beyond anything they could have predicted.
Where To Bet on Sports in Delaware
Currently, with no online sports betting being legal, Delaware sports bettors can only place sports bets at the state’s three ‘racinos’ – which is a racing track that offers gambling facilities (not just sports betting, but also table casino games and even slot machines). Moreover, these three racinos all offer dedicated poker rooms.
The Delaware Lottery has signed a contract with Scientific Games, a partner of William Hill US, for its sports betting offerings.
In addition to this, there are also more than 100 retail locations that have, in the past, taken wagers NFL parlay bets. However, even to this day they still are unable to offer a full gambling service in the same way as the racinos.
These retail locations are allowed only to deal with college and pro football parlay cards for now, as was specifically dictated by Vernon Kirk, the Director of the Delaware Lottery. So, Delaware residents will need to travel to one of these three locations to enjoy the full Delaware sports betting experience.
Delaware Park Casino
This is located in Wilmington – and allows punters to watch races whilst they bet on the horses and other sports. Other sports betting offered here are NFL betting, NBA betting, baseball, hokey, Auto racing, soccer and more. They also offer professional and college football parlay cards.
Dover Downs Casino
Dover Downs Casino is located in Dover. Here, you can place both single sports bets and football parlays, with many of the same sports bets offered by Delaware Park Casino. It uses the Delaware Lottery owned Sports Pick software.
Harrington Raceway and Casino
Harrington Raceway and Casino, Harrison, offers betting on all major league sports as well as golf, soccer, racing and more – both single bets and parlays.
Online Sports Betting in Delaware
Well, these may not be convenient for many residents, but what about online sports betting, mobile betting or even online casino games? These aren’t available yet, but hopefully soon. Having said that, there is no set timeline from the state and no current active bills aimed at online betting and mobile betting, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to get the go-ahead for the next logical step. Is mobile sports betting allowed? Yes, but is it readily available? No.
PASPA Ends – Legal Sports Betting
In May 2018, in the Murphy vs NCAA case, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of the state of New Jersey, which led to the overturning of PASPA – the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which prohibited traditional sports betting everywhere except Nevada.
This means that now, each state can decide for themselves whether or not to introduce legal sports betting – how it’s regulated and how it’s taxed.
Since then, legal sports wagering in Delaware began at its three physical casinos, and the first wager was officially made on June 5th that same year.
This was a lengthy journey, and the decision took about seven years to make, with a hard-fought battle between the NCAA and other pro sports leagues vs the state of New Jersey. A decision was agreed upon by all but two of the adjudicating justices.
As such, they decided that sports betting was an important policy choice, but the choice was not theirs to make – and gave back that power to the individual states… effectively ending PASPA.
New Jersey built its case on the constitutional argument that the fact that the US laws commanded states to retain an anti-gambling law was in direct violation of the principles of state sovereignty. This argument was accepted. Congress agreed that it was overstepping its bounds and allowed state’s their own sovereignty.
Parlay Betting in Delaware: 2009
Even before PASPA was overturned, there was still some allowance of sports betting in the state’s existing gaming framework – when, in 2009, the Delaware Lottery was given to offer multi-game bets. Additionally, they were even grandfathered in at the start of the PASPA ruling, but they never started with single-game bets.
Out of all the US states, Delaware sports betting has some of the most confusing and complicated laws around gambling. Whilst it can be very progressive, it can also be extremely restrictive. They have even banned some gambling channels whilst allowing others.
So, for example, whilst regular commercial casinos have been legalized, Tribal casinos are illegal in this state, which is the polar opposite to most other state rules. It may well be that there aren’t many tribes located in the state with none interested in starting one. As such, in the state, all betting functions are regulated and held by the Delaware Lottery.
Also, unlike other states, Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is illegal in the state of Delaware. This, to many, makes little sense unless this is simply down to the fact that the governing officials don’t know how to regulate it. Meanwhile, there is legalized betting allowed in the state – and it was one of the first to allow this, which is considered progressive.
More About Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act
PASPA, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, was the bill passed in 1992 that prohibited sports betting in every US state with the exception of Nevada. It was ironic that it was Bill Bradley, the New Jersey senator and a former New York Knicks player that was the man behind the bill. He believed that this would help to preserve sports integrity, stopping young people from gambling away their money on sports – and stopping any other sports from making it legal.
When the law was passed, there were a handful of states, New Jersey being one, that was given a year to legalize sports betting, but didn’t do this. However, Montana, Oregon and Delaware did take advantage of this on-year deadline – continuing quasi-sports betting games.
Delaware Sports betting FAQ
Is Sports Betting Legal in Delaware?
Yes, as of June 2018, sports betting in Delaware has been legalized. Moreover, officially online mobile betting is not illegal, but there are not any state-run mobile betting apps available at this time – most opt to gamble at offshore sportsbooks.
Where Can I Bet on Sports in Person in Delaware?
There are three racinos available that offer a full sports betting service – Delaware Park Casino, Dover Downs Hotel and Casino and Harrington Raceway and casino. You can partake in parlay betting through the Delaware Lottery.
Can I Take Part in Online Sports Betting in Delaware?
Technically, yes you can as it isn’t illegal. However, there are no state-run online sports betting sites. Delaware residents that want to make online sports bets will need to play at an offshore online sports betting site, which isn’t the safest of options.
Is Daily Fantasy Sports Available in Delaware?
Despite being first off the blocks with sports betting legalization, Daily Fantasy Sports betting is still not legal in the state of Delaware – as such, sites such as FanDuel and DraftKings are not regulated in the state.